Manufacturing of Halloween Candy Outpacing Last Year’s Sales

Chocolate and Candy sales are soaring this Halloween season!

Excitement continues to grow as celebrations increase for this upcoming Halloween weekend!  82% of Americans say they plan to celebrate Halloween – including 93% of Millennial parents. Consumers are ready to celebrate and you can clearly see from this year’s candy!

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  • $324 million in retail sales (+48% vs. the same period in 2020; +59.8% vs. the same period in 2019)
  • Halloween-specific items per store increased 26.9% vs. the same period in 2020.

HALLOWEEN CHOCOLATE: $199 million sales (+55.5% vs. the same period in 2020; +70.3% vs. the same period in 2019)

HALLOWEEN NON-CHOCOLATE: $124 million (+31.1% vs. the same time period in 2020; +45.5% vs. the same time period in 2019)



  • 87% of people say they will purchase the same amount – or more – of Halloween candy this year. This is up from 80% in 2020.
  • 80% of Americans plan to trick-or-treat this year.
  • The National Confectioners Associationis the leading trade organization for the U.S. confectionery industry, which generates more than $37 billion in retail sales each year.
  • The industry employs nearly 58,000 workers in more than 1,600 manufacturing facilities across all 50 states.

Ashley Grave, Pipeline Development Coordinator



Spice up your retirement!

A recent study showed that the average age to retire is 61 years old, and the average life expectancy is expected to grow. This is wonderful news! But what will you do for those years of your life? After the initial relaxation and leisure of retirement becomes boring, part time work might be the right answer!

Benefits of Working During Retirement:

  • Stay Young – Being social and making new connections has been shown to keep you all around healthy, both mentally and physically.
  • Pursue a Passion – It’s common that the work we do is not always for our enjoyment. When you retire, it is the perfect time to explore working part time with something new that you’re interested in.
  • Find Your Purpose – Look into working with a company or organization part time that will help you feel fulfilled and avoid any boredom that can come when retiring.
  • Increase Savings & Accumulated Interest – By working you may avoid taking money out of your savings and maybe even grow it. This will help you live comfortably for a long time.
  • Health Insurance – Most part time jobs will come with the benefits of Health Insurance. This will help retirees who are younger than 65 years of age.
  • Set Your Schedule – You get to decide how much you want to work. This is where PMG is a great option. We offer extended part time work (ranging from 3-6months). The flexibility allows you to take a job and then take as many months off as you want for leisure.


Come Find Your Purpose!

If you are interested in working with PMG, click the link to fill out a form and one of our recruiters will contact you!   Click Here to Fill Out Form

Bailey Braccini, Marketing Associate

Steel. It’s quite literally ALL around you. From buildings (metal roofing, steel beams, mounting brackets) to vehicles, to infrastructure (bridges, safety barriers), sculptures and jewelry (art), in the ground, at your doctor’s office (scalpers, surgical pins), or in your kitchen (scissors, sinks, cutlery). And, like many others, you probably haven’t thought about where steel comes from so let me tell you!

How It’s Made – Steel

Step 1: Gather raw material, place into a furnace and melt into molten metal.

Mine iron ore from the ground.

Due to the properties of iron ore, it must be “reduced”. Reduction is the process of crushing coal then carburizing it in a furnace and heating it at high temperatures, without oxygen, which creates coke. The coke comes out as small black rock pieces with a high concentration of carbon.

Fact: it takes about 1.5 tons of iron ore to produce 1 ton of steel.

Combine iron ore, solid carbon (carburized coke), and some limestone in a blast furnace to create molten metal.

A blast furnace works by blowing heated air into the bottom of the furnace to create a combustion process amongst the three ingredients. This process creates molten pig iron.

  • Technically, pig iron is neither iron nor steel.
  • The limestone added to the blast furnace removes impurities such as silicon dioxide (sand and rock).

Step 2: Use ladles to take molten metal to additional furnaces.

  1. Combine the molten pig iron with recycled steel scrap in oxygen furnaces.
  2. Oxygen furnaces blow oxygen at the molten metal at high pressures which burns off impurities.
    • Electric Arc Furnaces (EAFs) make steel from scrap instead of iron ore which usually produces lower quality steel but benefits from a recycling perspective.

At this stage, molten iron is now molten steel!

Step 3: Use ladles to pour molten steel into tundishes.

Tundishes feed a continuous caster. The continuous caster forms and draws out the molten metal into the desired shape(s) and cuts these shapes to sizes.

Shapes include ingots, blooms, billets, or slabs which are considered semi-finished casting products and are not ready to be used yet.

Step 4: Use rolling mills for next steps.

Rolling mills will process the steel shapes into additional product including plate, steel coil, or rods and bars.

Depending upon the temperature of the rolling mills, you are either creating hot rolled steel or cold rolled steel.

Step 5: Use various equipment for finishing operations.

Operations here include pickling, coating, tinning, annealing, tempering, cutting, slitting, coiling, and packing.

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Now that you know, check out this video to see it for yourself and also, don’t forget to check out PMG’s blog for more of our How It’s Made articles.

Kim Mooney, Technical Manager & Coach



The history of manufacturing and the four industrial revolutions are unique in comparison but one commonality they share is the metal working mill. The metal working mill doesn’t have the same extensive history as the metal working lathe, but it has a history nonetheless.

Eli Whitney Invents the Mill

The origination of the mill is difficult to determine. For the most part, mills can be traced to the 1700s at a time when clock makers used mills to cut out balance wheels. However, it wasn’t until 1818 that the United States was able claim rights to the mill. And, all credit goes to Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin (which was invented in 1793). With the cotton gin up and running, Eli wanted to do his next big thing. He soon recognized his opportunity. With the US under threat of war with France, the US government was soliciting bids from contractors for the production of muskets. This is where Eli comes in.

At the time, muskets were hand formed by skilled workmen. This caused inconsistencies across each individual musket in design, fit, and form, and also made replacement parts difficult to get. It was time for a change. So, Eli got to designing machine tools that could manufacture parts at a faster rate and manufacturer repetitively. He thought was that machine tools would keep musket components uniform in shape, size, and design, unlike the hands of craftsman. With consistent and repeated machine tool operation, parts could be inventoried and also interchangeable. This idea of Eli’s ultimately created the production system as we know it. In 1801, Eli presented the system to Thomas Jefferson (President-elect at the time). Jefferson witnessed it in full and saw its value. With  approval (or at least the acknowledgement of greatness), Eli continued to manufacture arms with his invented machinery, passing down his arms shop (located in Hamden, Connecticut) to his son, Eli Whitney Jr.

Since Inception

Fast forward, many GREAT changes to the mill have progressed through the Industrial Revolutions. An American engineer (Joseph R. Brown) showcased his universal milling machine at the Paris Exhibition in 1867. Another American engineer further improved this machine in 1936. He thought the machines should provide more movement and allow the tool to approach work pieces at different angles and locations, with less manual operations. This engineer (Rudolph Bannow) named his machine the Bridgeport which manufacturing facilities across the US still use in production.

However, a Bridgeport is still very manual in nature so with the rise of automation, computers, and digital applications, we’ve seen the mills transform to what they are now – CNC Mills – but that’s a story for another time.

PMG provides labor solutions to American manufacturers. That’s what we do in a nutshell and we take the “solution” part of that equation seriously. As a result, all of us here end up asking a lot of questions to make sure we find the right way to solve the real problem. Additionally, the community asks a fair amount of questions too. In this blog, PMG answers some of the most common questions.

What is ITAR?

Great question! Simply put, ITAR stands for International Traffic in Arms Regulations. These are federal government regulations that apply to any vendor whose product or service is for defense-related applications or military end-use. ITAR also applies to any contractors or sub-contractors involved with those products or services. ITAR compliant companies have to recertify annually and the main goal of certification is to ensure the restricted access of foreign nationals to anything that might be sensitive to national defense initiatives. Maintaining compliance is especially complicated, and critical, for multi-national companies with facilities located in many different countries!

Individual companies dictate how they enforce ITAR. However, those pursuing employment with ITAR compliant manufacturers and contractors will need to provide documentation that verifies their identity meets ITAR status. Two forms of government issued IDs are typically required, one of which must be photo ID. For a more detailed selection of which documents are acceptable, take a look at what’s required to attend a defense conference.

Interested in More?

Here’s a link to more details regarding the specifics of ITAR compliance. Then head to our website to read more PMG FAQs.

Looking to join our team?

  • Recently graduated from a technical training program, please consider joining our team through PMG ReTool.
  • If you’ve got experience, we have opportunities for you too! Join our PMG Talent Network

Have a question of your own?

We want to answer your questions. If you have any at all, send them to and we will get them answered in future FAQs!

October 10 was recognized as World Mental Health Day but it’s fair to say mental health is something we should be talking about every day, not just on October 10. The real focus of World Mental Health Day is not only to recognize the prevalence of mental health and really put a face to it, but also to focus on the gaps in health services that people with mental health concerns have and the stigma still associated with mental illness.

Mental illness shows itself in so many ways during so many stages of life:

  • In grandparents who have been isolated for so long and whose minds have started to wander.
  • In parents who are experiencing something beyond the ‘baby blues’ or preparing for their children to head off to college or who are just trying to keep an unstable marriage alive for their children’s sake.
  • In adults who are dealing with the constant pressure of living up to expectations, so often their own.
  • In children who struggle to come to terms with the constantly changing world around them and where or how they fit in.

For those of us not amongst the almost one billion people who have a mental disorder, we’re affected because the people we love are personally affected.

I know it seems cliché these days but you never really know what someone else might be going through. That smile they give you in the hallway might be hiding suicidal thoughts. That purposefully avoided eye contact might be someone pleading to simply hear a ‘hello’. That overdose in the school restroom is a literal cry for help.

As you think about your own mental health today and the mental health of the people that matter most in your world, consider the strangers as well. And remember that you don’t know what journey they have faced, you don’t know what path they’re following, and you don’t know what makes them tick. Be kind to them. Give them some grace. And let them know you care. While you’re at it, do the same for yourself.

For some great resources on depression, suicide, and mental health in general, head to

Beth Bangtson, HR Manager